Airport delay compensation time restrictions
Passengers have 6 years in which to make an airport delay claim
The UK Statute of Limitations stipulates that claims must be made within 6 years of the scheduled flight date. Our advice to those travelling by air on a regular basis is to recall any journeys where severe delays were experienced as we can check the feasibility of a claim on your behalf.
Make your airport delay claim as soon as possible
Numerous EU flight operators have mounted challenges against the 6-year rule – in an attempt to restrict the amount of airport delay claims that they are subjected to, many of them have proposed that the limit should be reduced to just 2 years. To date, there has been staunch resistance from EU lawmakers and the 6-year limit continues to be enforced by EU courts.
In spite of this, an increasing number of airlines (most notably, low-cost carriers) are taking it upon themselves to introduce their own 2-yer time limits through misleading booking terms and conditions. However, these will be overruled by EU legislation if challenged in court, so claimants are advised to contest any self-stipulated restrictions that airlines present.
We still recommend that those affected by airport delays submit a claim at the earliest opportunity in case there are changes made to EU legislation in light of numerous protests from major airlines.
Can I claim airport delay compensation?
Circumstances surrounding airport delays must satisfy criteria specified by EU regulations.
For example, claims are only valid if they relate to a flight that has been delayed by at least 3 hours when departing an EU airport. Non-EU departures need to be operated by an EU-based airline and heading to an EU destination.
In addition to this, claimants need to be in possession of a valid reservation and arrive at the airport ahead of the check-in closure time specified by the airline. If no specific time is stipulated on a reservation or flight ticket, passengers will need to be at check-in at least 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time.
Restrictions and exclusions
To meet the requirements of EU regulations, airport delay claims must be submitted within 6 years of the incident taking place.
Those travelling with a ticket purchased at a discounted rate not available to the general public (e.g. staff discount) will not be eligible to claim. However, passengers that have used frequent flyer rewards to buy a seat will be able to claim compensation for airport delays in the same way as those that have booked their ticket in the conventional way.
Under EU regulations it is not possible for to claim for delayed private plane and helicopter flights. Gibraltar Airport is the only airport in the European Union that is exempt from flight compensation regulations. Despite not being an EU member state, Switzerland is covered by the legislation due to the country’s bilateral agreements.